Senate probe sought on alarming increase in pregnancies among minors, including 10-year-old girls

Published February 17, 2021, 2:29 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Nancy Binay has filed a resolution asking the Senate to look into the alarming increase in the number of adolescent pregnancies in the country.


In filing Senate Resolution No. 650, Binay said the Civil Registry Statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has revealed two registered births from girls as young as 10 years old from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 4-A or Calabarzon, both of which have a relatively high population.

Binay said it is imperative for the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the matter and address the rising number of teenage pregnancy cases in the Philippines.

“Tens of thousands of adolescents die annually of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In fact, these are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls, aged 15-19 globally,” Binay said in the explanatory note of her resolution, echoing the United Nations Population Fund’s position.

The senator pointed out teenage pregnancy still remains as a national emergency in the Philippines “as this is the 9thyear since 2011 that the rate has increased” pointing out that one out of every 10 pregnancies in the country is among adolescents.

“According to data provided by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), and as reported by the POPCOM (Commission on Population), the number of Filipino minors (aged 14 years and below) who gave birth in 2019 rose to 7 percent or 62,510 compared to 62,341 in 2018,” she said.

“Whereas, 2,411 girls aged 10 to 14 gave birth in 2019, revealing an average of seven births every day with Calabarzon, NCR, and Central Luzon registering the highest incidence. Other regions like Northern Mindanao, Davao and Central Visayas also logged a record high,” she lamented.

Binay said she agrees with the United Nations Population Fund’s position that when a girl becomes pregnant, her life can change drastically.

“Her education may end and her job prospects diminished. She becomes more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, and her health often suffers. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls,” she said.

“Based on the foregoing, it is imperative to conduct a complete assessment and review of all government policies and programs regarding the prevention of adolescent pregnancy in country,” the senator stressed.

Aside from Binay, other senators who underscored a Senate investigation into the need to curb the growing number of teenage pregnancies in the country are Senators Leila de Lima, Sherwin Gatchalian and Risa Hontiveros.

Hontiveros said that in reality, these cases are no longer considered “teenage pregnancies” but “childhood pregnancies.”“Many of these kids have not even finished the stages of puberty, but are now confronted with the painful reality that they will become teen mothers and fathers. Many parents still consider them as their babies. Yet, our babies are having babies of their own. This is extremely alarming,” Hontiveros stressed.